The dream as a rugby-playing youngster is often to score the winning try for your hometown club in front of the loyal fans, as a team of flailing defenders are left in your wake. For one young forward, that dream became a reality in the recent Welsh derby clash between Ospreys and Cardiff.
On Monday evening, 18-year-old Morgan Morse turned a sodden-wet Swansea.com Stadium into the hottest ticket in town, as he switched on his jet-powered rocket shoes to score the individual try of the season so far.
Known more for their powerful charges rather than their fleet-footed sidesteps, number 8s are often employed to charge the ball up the field on the attack to initiate attacking momentum. What they are not expected to do, however, is take the attack into their own hands and score 50-metre solo wonder tries.
Well, that’s exactly what the Ospreys’ back-rower did. Controlling the ball with his feet on the halfway line, Morse picked up and headed for the Cardiff defence. One right foot step later and the agile number 8 was through the defensive line. Step number 2 took him past the covering defenders, and the sheer tenacity to reach the try line enabled him to score the try that would spark the home side’s comeback.
How about this! Morgan Morse👏👏 pic.twitter.com/EiPPe4QXeo
— Sean Holley 🎤📺🏉📝🎥🏌🏻♂️ (@_SeanHolley) January 1, 2024
Ospreys won the match 27-21, putting them ahead of their rivals in the table as the new year gets started, whilst fans have been raving about the young number 8s’ prospects following this display.
BBC reporter Lauren Jenkins, said: “Under 20s teammates in the summer, now Morgan Morse & Dan Edwards are taking control of this game for the Ospreys in one of the biggest league games of the year . Morse looking & playing like an 8 from a different era. Finding space in the toughest of conditions. Some talent”
Peter Jackson, a journalist for The Rugby Paper, added: “How good to see a Welsh teenager rise above the mud bath in defiance of treacherous conditions. Morgan Morse, an 18-year-old native Ospreylian from Ystalyfera, couldn’t stop the rain but he certainly turned the tide.”
Reporter Ross Harries shared the same opinion, saying: “A genuinely compelling game of rugby in Bridgend, despite the atrocious conditions. Six tries in total, including this absolute worldie from the teenage Morgan Morse. It’s one thing doing this on the hard grounds of South Africa, but on a muddy swamp…”